Avenged Sevenfold
Hail to the King


2.5
average

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (58 Reviews)
August 21st, 2013 | 238 replies | 28,197 views


Release Date: 08/27/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mainstream monotony 101

Being one of the biggest mainstream metal bands, Avenged Sevenfold deserve credit for refusing to write the same album twice. Ever since their 2001 debut Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, the band managed to create something fresh and different with each succeeding album, for better or for worse. Waking the Fallen polished the raw, hardcore tendencies of the band’s debut without straying too far from their signature melodic sound. City of Evil saw them drop nearly all -core influences for a streamlined accessible sound with satisfying results, and their 2007 self-titled release broadened the scope of influences, including everything from country to a full-blown “rock opera.” It wasn’t exactly the best direction for Avenged Sevenfold - the pure ridiculousness of it all brought the cohesiveness and authenticity of the record down - but to their credit it was a ballsy move, and it certainly wasn’t as disastrous as one would expect.

On 2013’s Hail to the King, A7X try something more conventional, relying less on experimentation and more on riffs and vocal hooks to drive the songs, and this is its biggest problem. At least Nightmare took some risks – M. Shadows tried screaming again on ‘God Hates Us’, their heaviest song since the Waking the Fallen days, and piano ballad ‘Fiction’ was a pleasant change of pace and was the last song written by the late Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. However, just about everything on Hail to the King is uninspired and safe. We’ve heard it all before, whether by A7X on a previous release or by other, better bands. ‘This Means War’ sounds ripped straight from The Black Album-era Metallica and ‘Coming Home’ could pass as a weak Iron Maiden song, not to mention tracks like ‘Doing Time’ and ‘Hail to the King’ are so painfully bland one would wonder if there’s a single creative bone left in the band without The Rev. The worst part is knowing that A7X are underplaying their abilities – we know Synyster Gates can shred, and we know Shadows can be a semi-decent singer when he wants to be, but here all we’re left with is rehashed melodies, boring guitar solos, and sheer streamlined monotony. It doesn’t help that each song plods around the same breakdown-paced tempo – if you’re looking for thrash-y riffs like ‘Trashed and Scattered’ and ‘Beast and the Harlot’, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Thankfully Hail to the King isn’t without its redeeming qualities. ‘Requiem’ and ‘Planets’ are far from innovative, but standalone they can serve as fun headbangers despite the cheesy choir effects and brass harmonies, and the piano-string driven ‘Acid Rain’ closes the album on a subtle note, proving the band can still write a fairly effective ballad. To put it simply, Hail to the King is nothing new. It only differentiates itself by being the first Avenged Sevenfold album to not branch out in some form. We all knew that The Rev was a vital part of the band but part of us wanted to believe they could still pull through without him. Unfortunately in that regard, Hail to the King doesn’t inspire much hope.



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user ratings (601)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2013



19494 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

first review in a while so i may be a little rusty

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Keyblade
August 21st 2013



13249 Comments


Good review man, you've improved a lot.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2013



19494 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

thanks man. have you heard this yet?

Keyblade
August 21st 2013



13249 Comments


Nope and I don't plan to

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2013



19494 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

lol fair enough

KILL
August 21st 2013



67023 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

sweet

Digging: Picchio dal Pozzo - Picchio dal Pozzo

dante1991
August 21st 2013



479 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

First half of this album sucked ass, but the second half is pretty enjoyable and reminiscent of City of Evil in songs such as "Coming Home" and "Heretic". I'm torn between 2.5 and 3 for this...

Digging: Sonata Arctica - Winterheart's Guild

climactic
August 21st 2013



17183 Comments


really doubt this is as good as a 2.5. title track is one of the most boring songs ive ever heard



Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2013



19494 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

t/t is one of the worst songs here actually

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2013



18577 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review man agree with pretty much all of it. shadows vocals have always been hit and miss but it's pretty much all miss on this album which sucks cause I thought he made some improvements on nightmare after the s/t

Digging: Somos - Temple of Plenty

JackSparrow
August 21st 2013



1686 Comments


Best review I've read for this. I listened to a few songs seeing as I used to like the band's older stuff, definitely not something I want to hear in full

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2013



18577 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Best review I've read for this [2]

nononsense
August 21st 2013



3263 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Finally a review that's not based on pure hate for the band. Well done.

Digging: For The Fallen Dreams - Heavy Hearts

TheGreatQ
August 21st 2013



926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Best review I've read for this [3]

loveisamixtape
August 21st 2013



5782 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

easily the best review for this album so far, pos sir

amemento
August 21st 2013



1425 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

yea gj ins

feargm
August 21st 2013



302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review.

Digging: Charles Mingus - Pithecanthropus Erectus

halloway
August 21st 2013



684 Comments


This review hits the nail on the head. Really mimicked my own thoughts, with CoE being my favorite offering of theirs. Why are these guys SO SLOW and boring now?

loveisamixtape
August 21st 2013



5782 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

that paycheck

Surtur
August 21st 2013



460 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Artistdirect gave this (much like every other mainstream hard rock album) a 5/5... Not an awful album, a lot of shit in there but Acid Rain is cool.



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